Sunday, November 08, 2009

 

Sunday Reflection: Champagne Supernova



Like everyone else, I have been puzzling over the killings at Fort Hood this week, wondering why someone would go on such a rampage, and what might be done. There are some answers I reject, such as that proffered by Diane Schrader in a letter to the Waco paper yesterday, in which she wondered "when are we going to stop letting people from the Middle East come into our wonderful country?"

I really don't have an answer, but I do have a thought. Senseless killing seems to be an extreme measure to feel significant, to feel like one is important and something other than powerless. For that moment, everyone is looking at the killer, and the killer cannot be ignored. It is hard to imagine that is not what the killer wants.

Our society and in particular our entertainment plays into these thoughts by constantly advocating the very wrong idea that those who do something significant are those who become the center of attention. Reality shows are the pinnacle of this-- people doing utterly insignificant things which are televised and made to seem important.

The truth is that the most significant people and acts are almost always done quietly, and rarely get acclaim. Think of those who changed your life the most. Seriously, stop for a moment and think who they have been. What are their names? What did they do?

I would imagine that those most significant people included parents and teachers. Did they receive acclaim for that? Were they on television, their name made known to the world? Or is true significance found in acts and words woven in the deeper fabric of life, a more muted, complex, and beautiful color?

Maj Nidal Malik Hasan perhaps believed the lie that significance and meaning is found in the outrageous and terrible. So, too often and in lesser ways, do the rest of us. I'm not sure whether or not the revolution will be televised, but I do know that significance and heroism rarely are. The best we can do is love and reward those who have quietly been significant to us, and be that person who humbly gives when the wheel turns and that becomes our role.

Comments:
Tim McVey, a blue-eyed, blonde-haired sort of fellow, described himself as a "Christian and a good American." By the letter-writer's logic, perhaps we should start deporting those sneaky blue-eyed blondes in California.
Bob
 
Are you advocating getting rid of
programs like the excellent and
informative Real World/Road Rules
Challenge?? Because sir, if you are,
then we are about to have a problem.

RRL
 
I would like an order of the champagne with supernova on the side - please...
 
Beautifully written and well said. Thank you for the message I got from this...
 
Anon, why let facts and logic stand in the way of xenophobia and racism?

Also, no one inform her that a majority of Muslims aren't Middle Eastern, while quite a few Chistians and Jews are.
 
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